‘House of Horrors’ victims want their birth certificates, IDs back after years of starvation, torture, confinement

The children of accused “House of Horrors” defendants David and Louise Turpin have asked for their birth certificates and IDs, another indication that the abuse victims are seeking to reclaim their lives.

KABC-TV reports the judge presiding over the case approved the request during an arraignment on Friday.

Attorneys on both sides stipulated that they no longer needed the items, which police had seized as evidence.

The children also requested a camera that investigators had taken.

Friday’s hearing was relatively brief and procedural. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz found there was adequate evidence against David Turpin, 56, and wife Louise Turpin, 49, that they should stand trial.

The pair face 88 charges in total ranging from child abuse, torture and false imprisonment.

David Turpin also is facing a charge of performing lewd acts on a child and Louise Turpin is separately accused of felony assault, according to The Mercury News.

Nearly all of the children appeared wasted away when authorities discovered them in January, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Prosecutors allege the parents punished 12 of the 13 children by chaining them to beds and depriving them of food.

Evidence of the starvation was clear, according to investigators. The oldest of the 13 siblings, a 29-year-old, weighed only 82 pounds. Medical evidence also was found of muscle wasting and severe malnutrition.

Schwartz dismissed an abuse charge related to the youngest child, age 2, because she did not appear to have been significantly starved.

The children also were denied toys and were allowed to do little except for writing in journals. While they were purportedly home-schooled, some of the children were unable to speak well and one 12-year-old girl couldn’t recite the entire alphabet.

Police say the home stunk of human waste.

Authorities found the children after a 17-year-old sibling was able to escape the residence and call 911 in January.

“They woke up at night and started crying,” the girl reportedly told a 911 dispatcher. “I wanted to call you all so you can help my sisters.”

The girl reported that she hadn’t bathed in about a year. She also wasn’t able to identify the day or month.

David and Louise Turpin are each being held on $12 million bail. They face life in prison if convicted.

The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 31.